I have a t-shirt in my wardrobe that I call my “insecure” t shirt. On a whim, I wore it on a day when I was just feeling behind and uncertain three years ago. Since then, I’ve done it nearly every time I’ve felt that way.
There have been three lessons from the process of wearing these over the years.
First, like most things, the first step to move past discomfort is to acknowledge and accept it. And, wearing that t-shirt was a sign to myself that I acknowledged my discomfort. Over the course of the day, it then became easier to accept it and move on.
Second, the feeling of discomfort didn’t last for long once I acknowledged it. In the past, I might have let such feelings take over my mood for a day or two. But, given I’m hyper aware of them thanks to this t-shirt, I’ve come to realize that such feelings are fleeting.
Finally, the frequency with which I’ve worn the shirt has decreased a fair bit over time. I remember reading Eckhart Tolle say “Don’t take your thoughts too seriously.” Wearing my “insecure” t-shirt was an experience that brought that learning. It taught me not to give too much credence to fleeting thoughts and feelings of discomfort.
As I learnt, it wasn’t the feeling but my response to it that needed fixing.